Taking over the world, one apron at a time...



Before I landed in the City of Angels I was an East Coast transplant turned Maui Girl. I loved Maui. I loved my simple, easy life. I had my favorite beach, my favorite friends, a great job and my bike ride home from work smelled like pikake and gardenia flowers. I surfed, I paddled and I rode that little red beach cruiser everywhere and usually with Olivia, my chihuahua sidekick, in the straw basket. I never would have guessed that in a few years time I would trade my Locals in for Fryes and my bike for .... well.. road rage. And even though we are in the throes of Fall and staring down the barrel of yet another holiday season, Maui has been on my mind. Maybe it's that my dear friend, and former surf buddy, Courtney was just in town. Maybe it was the conversation I had with Pakala, my Hawaiian boss, about his upcoming trip to Molokai. Maybe it's the up coming trip to Salt's Cure with two more Maui visitors, Leah and Jay. Who knows.
Cut to a particularly uneventful evening this week in Los Angeles. I had time to day dream, my thoughts swimming from all things Thanksgiving to more tropical waters. A friend sensing my boredom offered me the only bit of entertainment available. Beer magazine. Not my go-to periodical but I gave it a whirl. Flipping past the ads for craft beers, I landed on a Do-it-Yourself tutorial for Beer Can Chicken. BCC has been on my mental "Must Try" list for way too long.

A-Frame is the reigning heavy weight in the BCC department but rarely do I ever find myself all the way in Culver City.
As I flipped through my guide I was skeptical that I could pull this off. Surely there was some complicated grilling contraption or Bobby Flay-worthy skill involved. I was tickled to learn that I needn't be a master of the barbeque to pull off BCC. I just needed an oven. Still not entirely convinced, I flipped the page. There it was, a recipe featuring my friend's beer company, Maui Brew Co. It was a sign. I would have to ditch the doubt and get cooking. Garrett Marrero is the man behind the brew and also singlehandedly responsible for interrupting a strictly wine and scotch period, bringing me back around to beer. He makes a beautiful I.P.A., the Big Swell, my favorite is the Bikini Blonde; a Hellas lager, but they're most famed effort is the Coconut Porter and this was the main ingredient in the BCC challenge.

I remember the day that I was introduced to Maui Brew Co.. Garrett was conducting a tasting to showcase his locally crafted selection.  He set up several cans. This was back before cans were again the fashion and he was armed with a laundry list of can-pros for us to consider. The most convincing reason is that they're more environmentally friendly than bottles and when you rely on the limited resources provided by a smattering of specks in a vast Pacific sea, you consider these things.
As we untangled the stigma from our thoughts, he began pouring.
Full of flavor, round and fresh, Garrett explained that rarely would you come across a MBC beer that was more than seven days old. I was hooked. I began stalking Maui Brew Co. deliveries at the local wine shop. I waited outside, my bike basket emptied in anticipation (sorry Olivia). I would try to rearrange my impatient face to a nonchalant expression before Garrett arrived with those gleaming cans.
These days Maui Brew Co. is much easier to come by. I can find it in several places in my current zip code, many miles and a few years away from my toe tapping stalker days. And so it was with sheer delight that I turned the page to find this recipe that included my favorite little/big brewing company.

Maui Brew Co. Coconut Porter Beer Can Chicken
with a Thai Curry Basting Sauce
(recipe adapted from Beer magazine)

(I Puff Daddyied, P Diddyied, Puffalufugased the original recipe to suit my tastes and my pantry. Feel free to do some "sampling" of your own. Try fresh basil and mint in your basting sauce.)

1 4lb. Organic chicken (try Lindy and Grundy)
1 can Coconut Porter
1 stalk lemongrass cut into 3in pieces and lengthwise (put into can)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup scallions
1 3in. piece lemongrass
3 Tbsp sweet Thai chili
2 Tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
2 tsp ground ginger
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1 1/2 limes

Preheat oven to 450*
Pour enough Porter into a glass to fit the lemongrass in the can without an overflow.
Remove gizzards from the chicken and rinse with cold water.  Pat the chicken dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Season the bird with a nice crust of S&P then in a roasting pan, fit the chicken around the can. It should sit up on it's own.

Next combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour 1/2 sauce in a separate bowl to use later.

Baste the chicken in the sauce and put it in the oven. Ten minutes baste again, repeat in ten more minutes.

Turn the oven down to 375* for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165*.
Tip- put the chicken on the lowest shelf, if the top looks like it's getting too dark too fast, you can always put a little tin foil hat on top to prevent burning.
When the chicken is finished carefully remove the can. This can be tricky but if you can push down on the top of the can through the opening in the bird while lifting up on the chicken it should slide out easily. Let it rest for ten minutes on a separate platter. Pour the chicken drippings into a sauce pan and add the remaining (untouched) sauce. Whisk over medium heat until smooth. Carve. Serve. Enjoy.

Beer Can Chicken with Jalapeno and Cilantro Cole Slaw.


The Devil in Miss Mae.

Deviled Quail Egg.

By now it's not a secret that I love eggs.  Just about any food item adorned with an egg will have my full ("Squirrel") attention.  A burger crowned with a fried egg, flatbread pizza a la The Oaks baked with an egg and mushrooms, salmon roe topped with a raw quail egg,  a whiskey sour frothy with egg whites, an egg cracked open over a hot spicy bowl of soon, a creamy yolk placed lovingly on a pile of pasta,  over medium or over easy, scrambled soft, scrambled hard, coddled,  poached, boiled and baked, I love my eggs.
Last month, F for Food and I brought Dinner at Eight back into our crook of the canyon. We muddled and shucked, stewed and fried and if nothing else filled our guests to the brim with all things Southern.
There were mint juleps and oyster stew, fried chicken legs and gravy, biscuits and roasted pork loin but the meal began with a tiny little egg. A deviled egg. A deviled quail egg to be exact. I made other contributions to our Southern feast but this was one I insisted on right out of the gate. Small, tangy and rich, the deviled quail egg would make the perfect amuse bouche for our meal.

There was however a hitch. I've never made deviled quail eggs before, I've never prepared quail eggs of any sort in fact. I don't even know where to procure a quail egg.  The quail quest began with the most logical choice, The Hollywood Farmer's Market.  Elliott and I left ourselves with a tight schedule, we had one week until our dinner deadline and one day to test recipes as a complete team, Elliott, Kathy and me. There was little room for error or the birthday party we were also due to attend that day so we had to act fast.  Racing to the HFM, we kept our fingers crossed that the secret parking space was available. It wasn't. Still in drive, I opened the door rolled out into the alley behind the market, did a set of summersaults worthy of Nadia Comaneci and over my shoulder yelled to my getaway driver..err.. I mean FForFood to circle the block. Okay, okay, I may have exagerrated that last bit a tad but the scene wasn't far off.  I ran/walked through the crowd ducking absently handled french rolls, dodging baby strollers and flower pots to get to the egg man. Breathless, I asked the gentleman for quail eggs. "No Ma'am".
Alright, maybe there's another vendor? I ran/walked up and down the length of the market (no easy feat in a sea of leisurely market goers),found four more egg related stands and the closest I got was a "We sold out earlier, sorry...".  I leapt back into Elliott's car and we peeled out leaving the other early risers in our dust. Okay, maybe not, but the failed mission did put a crimp in our limited time.  We made it to the aforementioned birthday party, and then it was back on the hunt.  I vaguely remembered that ages ago The Merchantile restaurant sold quail eggs but the bartender delivered the bad news gently when we inquired attempting to restrain our desperate expressions. We tried Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Nope and Nope. We were running out of ideas and daylight. 
As my confidence began to dissolve Elliott had a lightbulb moment. The Original Farmer's Market! I'd been there for shrimp tacos and cactus salad at Loteria. I'd been to see the passadores at Pampas Grill but it manages to escape me that it is in fact a farmer's market. SCORE!

The elusive eggs nestled together.

Clutching the trays of delicate bespeckled eggs, and wearing a smile with renewed confidence, F for Food and I returned to the Dinner at Eight kitchen quarters and with Kathy, got to work. Flour was flying as each dish was tested. Heads were scratched, salt was added,  but the easiest job belonged to me.  The eggs boiled in no time and before I knew it I was trying my first deviled quail egg. After the ordeal I had trying to find them the rest was easy and delicious! The Deviled Quail Eggs were a hit at the party too and even better, I had enough eggs left over for a few sunny sides up for breakfast! Win.

Fried Quail Egg.

To make your own Deviled Quail Eggs:

You can work with the ingredient list I provide in Something Borrowed, Something New. Quail Eggs take considerably less time to boil.  Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water, until the eggs are completely submerged. Exactly two minutes from the time the water starts to boil they're done. To open the shells, pop the bottom of the shell (there will be a small air bubble there) pinch and pull apart. Quail eggs are much more delicate than regular eggs so peeling them will require patience and a delicate hand. For one package of 10 quail eggs you will need far less Duke's (1tsp), honey, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard can be measured with the tip of a demitasse spoon, the Blackie's pepper relish (1/2 tsp), and much smaller pinches of salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Don't forget to taste as you go to allow for adjustments. Happy Tastebuds!

XOXO Maggie Mae